Standards key to tapping Oil and Gas opportunities
The business community in Uganda has been urged to make strategic preparations if they are to benefit from the highly lucrative proceeds from Uganda’s oil and gas business that could start as early as early as 2020.
The National Content specialist at the Uganda National Oil Company Jessica Kyeyune says that businessmen and women must prepare to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of the Oil and Gas sector in the direct contractor and subcontractor categories after the Final Investment Decision is made.
Speaking at a half day media workshop, Kyeyune said that the Oil and Gas sector presents enormous business opportunities especially during the infrastructural development phase that comes before the actual oil production.
However Kyeyune added that in order to tap these opportunities that come with the Construction of the Oil refinery, Oil Pipeline and the actual oil production, Uganda companies and individual businessmen must be ready to meet the standards of services and goods needed.
Kyeyune warns that failure to meet the required standards and quality, Ugandans risk losing the economic opportunities to foreign companies.
Because there is going to be so much activity, we need to be able to understand the standards required, for instance transporting people, the Kamunye’s (Taxis) we bought are not going to be accepted, the kind of vehicles that will be accepted are the kind that actually transport tourists in Uganda, the ones that have GPS (Global Position Systems) and such details. if we do not international companies are going to come, so we need to understand international standards, we need to understand the quality of construction materials like sand, cement as required for this sector, if we do not, these opportunities may unfortunately go to the foreign companies.
She further urged services providers in the transport, land surveying, food and beverages, Hotel and accommodation, suppliers of construction materials among others to ensure they are registered on the National Supplier Database, accessible at https://pau.go.ug/
“There is going to be an influx of activities and only those Ugandans and companies that are well prepared will be able to participate. There is a cake for every person but we have to be registered on the National Supplier Database (https://nsd.pau.go.ug) for a company to be able to participate in the Oil and gas sector as first and second tier contractor, Kyeyune said.
Listing the inability for Ugandans companies to meet the required standards and quality as one of the challenges, the Chief Human Resources Officer at UNOC Catherine Tumusiime says that there is need for interventions to equip locals to meet the Oil and Gas standards.
Tumusiime noted that there will be deliberate efforts by authorities to skill some of the locals since there is also lack of sufficient qualifications and certification for manpower.
She revealed that there are 16 services have been ring-fenced for Ugandan entities; They include Transportation, Land surveying, Communication, Information and Technology, Fuel supply, Foods and Beverages, Hotel and Accommodation , Human Resource management, security services among others.
UNOC officials advised that in circumstances where Ugandan businesses may not have the required capacity to be contracted on their own, they should consider partnering with other Ugandan or International companies for knowledge transfer so that after a given period of time they will have the skill and competence to be contacted on their own.
Meanwhile the Corporate Affairs Officer at Petroleum Authority of Uganda Emma Mugizi refuted allegations by some Ugandans that the oil has already been extracted, sold and exported. She said these are just speculations because of the delay in Oil production.
She further justifies the delay for Oil production when she stressed that the actual date for Oil production cannot be easily estimated unless the Final Investment Decision is taken, in addition to putting in place all the relevant infrastructure like a refinery and an oil pipeline.